ANN ARBOR — BBC Entrepreneurial Training & Consulting has been named as one of 25 organizations in the United States to win 2012 FAST Program grants through the federal Small Business Administration.

The FAST Program’s mission is to improve the participation of small technology firms in the innovation and commercialization of new technology, ensuring that the United States remains on the cutting edge of research and development.

BBCetc has been assisting early-stage technology companies to become more competitive in the federal government’s Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer grant programs since 1990. Since 2002 the firm has managed the state of Michigan’s SBIR/STTR Assistance Program, which includes outreach, assessment, training, and one-on-one assistance with proposal preparation.

The $80,000 FAST award will be matched by the State of Michigan to make possible a new program called “MI SBIR FASTconnect.”

The FASTconnect program’s objectives are to:
* Identify, assess, and connect Michigan-based SBIR/STTR awardees to the complex network of commercialization-focused resources in the state.
* Build a peer mentor network of experienced SBIR entrepreneurs to advise newer SBIR awardees
* Use FASTconnect partners to increase the number of Michigan-based women- and minority-owned companies participating in the SBIR/STTR programs.

“We are grateful to the SBA and the State of Michigan for making possible this new program that provides early commercialization support for Michigan’s SBIR/STTR awardees and creates a framework for education on the programs to women-and minority-owned businesses,” said Lisa Kurek, managing partner, BBCetc.

Added Martin Dober, senior vice president of entrepreneurship and innovation for the MEDC: “We look forward to working to promote the Fastconnect program to Michigan’s small businesses, so that more companies can take advantage of the technology commercialization resources that BBC offers.”

Kristin Burgard has joined BBCetc as a principal consultant tasked with managing the FASTconnect Program. Burgard has 13 years of experience in technology commercialization, life science consulting, sales and product management. She has a bachelor of science degree in molecular biology from Carnegie Mellon University and an MBA from Michigan State University.

“Kristin is ready to hit the ground running with FASTconnect,” Kurek added. “She will be active within Michigan’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, contacting our partners throughout the state, building relationships and establishing connections that will help SBIR/STTR awardees continue on the path toward product commercialization. And, importantly, she will be coordinating with selected Michigan partners on a pilot outreach program to minority and women technology entrepreneurs to help them tap into these important sources of high-risk, R&D funding.

Through a combination of training sessions and one-on-one assistance, BBC helps clients progress toward the goal of commercialization of novel products and technologies. BBC-assisted proposals have a success rate two to three times the national average across several federal agencies. Its Michigan clients have been awarded over $100 million in funding since 2002.


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